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Interview Bootcamp! Free Event!

Hey everyone!

Interview season is in full swing! Coupled with the holidays, it makes for an exciting (aka anxious) time for prospective medical students and their families.

Preparing for medical school interviews is stressful – it’s difficult to know (a) how to prepare and (b) what a good answer sounds like.  It’s also difficult for all students to find physicians or medical students who are familiar with the newer models of interviewing such as Modified Personal Interview (MPI), the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI) or Panel Interviews.

We here at the Medical School Crash Course have planned a 1 day Medical School Interview Bootcamp in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Sunday January 24, 2016.  The one day event will feature medical students from the University of Toronto and physicians who have collectively interviewed over 1500+ medical school candidates.  The day will include interview strategies and techniques, as well as an opportunity to work with the medical students in a panel and break-out sessions.

As an added bonus – for those who can’t attend – the strategies and panel sessions will be available via webcast.  To participate in the small-group break-out session, attendance will be required.

There are prep companies who charge (crazy prices) for a similar session BUT we recognize you’re students and therefore embody the statement “great minds, with great debts”.  We’re proud to offer the Medical School Crash Course: Interview Bootcamp for FREE to those who register in advance – CLICK ME! 

Space is extremely limited and is expected to be in high demand for this unique opportunity.  ALL students are welcome to attend – irrespective of their School and/or Year or study; however, registration preference will be given on a “first come, first served” basis and to 3rd and 4th year students. Students interested in viewing the webcast will need to register in advance to be given access to the link.

Date: Sunday January 24, 2016

Location: University of Toronto; Room – TBD

Time: 10:00am – 3:00 pm

Cost: Free

Pre-Registration (required):  HERE

 

 

 

 

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First Stop – Ryerson University!

Hey Ryerson, I’m looking at you!

After some strong work by the Ryerson Pre-Med Executive, the kick-off destination for this fall’s Coast2Coast Tour is Ryerson University on Thursday Sept 17 at 6:30pm at the Thomas Lounge.  We’re brining along Princeton Review and St. George’s University for an informative 2 hour presentation about getting into medical school, the MCAT and alternative options!

Register for the event here – CLICK ME to REGISTER

Am I Ready to Study Medicine Abroad?

Thanks to Michelle for reminding me to finish writing this post.

A common source of despair for many pre-medical students, especially the ones who are relatively competitive applicants, is when do you cash in your chips and take your chances abroad? There’s unfortunately no “one size fits all” answer to this question but I’ll borrow from the stages of change behavioral theory and give you 6 phases – one of which you may find yourself in currently.

readiness

Phase 1 – Pre-contemplation

The highlights of this phase are denial and ignoring the problem. Usually you’ll be in high school through second year undergraduate when in this phase. At that time, you still believe that even your wildest dreams are attainable (and they might be). Personally, I think if you’re set on a career in medicine at a young age then you should be in this phase and working your hardest to reach your goals.

 

Phase 2 – Contemplation

This feels like the classic stage that most people get caught in – irrespective of career: a period of ambivalence and constantly conflicted emotions. I believe you will reach this stage at numerous points in your life. In medicine you’ll have first had this when you’re thinking about what career, then where to go to school, what specialty, subspecialty, scope of practice, etc.

Typically this will be a second year undergraduate student to as far as a Masters or PhD graduate student; even on occasion someone who has finished school, had a job and now is thinking about changing careers. At this stage, students need to have a high degree of introspection to critically evaluate themselves and their competitiveness.   In evaluating their competitiveness, students will be need to assess the likelihood of them (a) having the admission requirements and (b) probability of obtaining a spot in a regional medical school. When evaluating themselves, students need identify (a) if they really want to be a doctor and (b) what sacrifices are they willing to make. Often helpful is a pros and cons list of medicine vs not medicine and MD vs DO vs Foreign MD programs (I’ll try to help you out with that one in a future post).

 

Phase 3 – Preparation

The preparation stage is very exciting, at this point you’ve become open to other ideas – whether in medicine or otherwise. Hallmarks of this stage will be exploring all of your options and collecting information. This is where you start to notice the flyer for the foreign school on the wall of your biology building, which you just never saw before or you’ll start Google searching for non-traditional routes to a medical degree. This can really happen at any stage in your academic career – commonly in the third year of undergraduate studies. The best advice I can offer is to make a list of your goals and build a roadmap for how you’ll obtain them. It’s always helpful to seek out the advice of others who have been in a similar situation – believe me, with medicine, there are. Ask questions, take in as much as you can and don’t immediately dismiss any option.

 

Phase 4 – Action

Time to execute! Now you’ve attended the information sessions, you’ve weighed the advantages and disadvantages and you’ve by laid out your plan. At this point, you have full acceptance of going abroad. There is recognition of being unable to obtain a position in a regional medical school and you’re ok with it – because you’ve found another option that you believe is viable.

It’s important to recognize that you may not get accepted to whatever program abroad that you’ve applied to – that’s ok. Hopefully, you have a plan B and if not, you can revert back to Phase 3 and figure out how to better improve your application.

 

Phase 5 – Maintenance

Congratulations! You’re in! Stick to your plan and remember residency applications are up next. You get to repeat the whole process again – what specialty, how to be competitive, which residency, etc.

 

Phase 6 – Relapse

There will be days of doubt, days when you will hesitate and wonder if leaving home in pursuit of your dream was the right decision – everyone has these. Keep going, talk to others about how you feel and know that you’re not alone.

You may also experience this if part of your plan doesn’t work out – like not getting into the residency of your choice. Persistence is key; chances are if you’re willing to go abroad for medical school, you’re persistent at heart. Finally, others will often question your decision – hold your head high, don’t be ashamed, International Medical Graduates have proudly contributed and will continue to contribute to the health of others; embrace joining their ranks.